Economy & Business

Business news

Yahoo's $1.1 billion purchase of Tumblr could be considered a bargain compared with its other big-dollar bets. The company's history is dotted with pricey purchases of once-hot Web properties that had more promise than eventual purpose. A look back:

GeoCities, 1999: $3.7 Billion

William von Schneidau, an intrepid butcher in Seattle, is giving a whole new meaning to "potbelly pig." Lately, he's been feeding marijuana refuse to the pigs he turns into prosciutto for BB Ranch, his butcher shop in the city's famous Pike Place Marke

Poverty, Still Coming To A Suburb Near You

May 20, 2013

When you think about poverty, you might picture dilapidated urban neighborhoods or rural areas. But a new book says the rate of poverty in the suburbs has grown by 64 percent in the past decade, and doesn't show signs of stopping. Host Michel Martin speaks with Elizabeth Kneebone, author of Confronting Suburban Poverty.

Asian-Americans have the highest income and education levels of any racial group in the country. So it might be surprising that they have a higher poverty rate than non-Hispanic whites. Michel Martin discusses the issue with Algernon Austin of the Economic Policy Institute and Rosalind Chou, co-author of The Myth of the Model Minority.

Ask A Banker: Capital, Capital!

May 20, 2013

Hi, it's Ask a Banker! You should send us questions on email or Twitter, but this particular question, though timely, was made up by me, sorry:

Q. Should banks be required to hold much more capital as a safety net? Or should they be putting that money to productive use by lending it out instead?

The news that broke Sunday is now official.

Yahoo confirmed early Monday morning that it is buying Tumblr in a deal worth about $1.1 billion. "Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business," Yahoo added.

In its statement announcing the deal, Yahoo says that:




NPR's business news starts with a big blogging buyout.

Today, Yahoo announced its purchase of the blogging site Tumblr. The $1.1 billion deal was unanimously approved by Yahoo's board. Analysts say the acquisition is Yahoo's attempt to revitalize itself.

NPR's Kirk Siegler has more.



Two ports, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, handle almost half of all of the consumer goods being shipped into the United States. Together, these two ports are also the single largest polluter in Southern California, a region famous for its smog.

NPR's Kirk Siegler reports on a new California law that will soon require some of the largest diesel-guzzling ships to kill their engines and plug in to shore power at the docks.

The Last Word In Business

May 20, 2013

Alongside a freeway in Northern California is a billboard which reads: Pivot to Canada. The billboard is urging high-tech immigrants living in the U.S. to pay attention to Canada. Canada wants to attract highly-skilled, foreign-born tech workers who are fed up with the visa process that they must follow to remain in the U.S.

Poverty has grown everywhere in the U.S. in recent years, but mostly in the suburbs. During the 2000s, it grew twice as fast in suburban areas as in cities, with more than 16 million poor people now living in the nation's suburbs — more than in urban or rural areas.

Elizabeth Kneebone, a fellow with the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, says this shift in poverty can be seen in Montgomery County, Md., right outside the nation's capital.

The Wall Street Journal has this breaking news from the tech world:

"The Yahoo board has approved a deal to pay $1.1 billion in cash for the blogging site Tumblr."

The Journal, the only outlet reporting the approval, is sourcing its story to "people familiar with the matter." Lauren Armstrong, a Yahoo spokeswoman, told us in an email that they "don't comment on rumors or speculation."

Stories Of Hope Amid America's 'Unwinding'

May 19, 2013

According to New Yorker writer George Packer, there used to be a kind of deal among Americans — a deal in which everyone had a place.

"People were more constrained than they are today, they had less freedom," he says, "but they had more security and there was a sense in which each generation felt that the next generation would be able to improve itself, to do better."



One hundred and forty years ago this month, a German immigrant named Levi Strauss patented the first pair of jeans ever made. During the California gold rush, Strauss traveled across the country to set up a West Coast branch of his family's dry goods business. That business changed forever when Strauss got a letter from a tailor named Jacob Davis.

Tesla Motors, the American maker of luxury electric cars, has been riding a wave of good publicity.

Its Model S sedan (base priced at $62,400, after federal tax credits) was just named Motor Trend Car of the Year. Reviewers at Consumer Reports gave the lithium-ion battery powered vehicle a rave.

And the company, headed by billionaire innovator Elon Musk, 41, posted a profit for the first time in its 10-year history — powered in part by zero-emission environmental credits.

Summer is almost here, and with it comes the army of interns marching into countless American workplaces. Yet what was once an opportunity for the inexperienced is becoming a front-line labor issue.

More and more, unpaid and low-paid interns are feeling their labor is being exploited. Some are even willing to push back — with lawsuits.